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Int J Mol Sci. 2019 Nov 6;20(22). pii: E5529. doi: 10.3390/ijms20225529.

A Miniaturized Pump Out Method for Characterizing Molecule Interaction with ABC Transporters.

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Laboratoire de la Barrière Hémato-Encéphalique (LBHE), University Artois, EA 2465, F-62300 Lens, France.
Blood-brain Barrier Laboratory, Jean Perrin Faculty, Rue Jean Souvraz, 62300 Lens, France.


Characterizing interaction of newly synthetized molecules with efflux pumps remains essential to improve their efficacy and safety. Caco-2 cell line cultivated on inserts is widely used for measuring apparent permeability of drugs across biological barriers, and for estimating their interaction with efflux pumps such as P-gp, BCRP and MRPs. However, this method remains time consuming and expensive. In addition, detection method is required for measuring molecule passage across cell monolayer and false results can be generated if drugs concentrations used are too high as demonstrated with quinidine. For this reason, we developed a new protocol based on the use of Caco-2 cell directly seeded on 96- or 384-well plates and the use of fluorescent substrates for efflux pumps. We clearly observed that the new method reduces costs for molecule screening and leads to higher throughput compared to traditional use of Caco-2 cell model. This accelerated model could provide quick feedback regarding the molecule design during the early stage of drug discovery and therefore reduce the number of compounds to be further evaluated using the traditional Caco-2 insert method.


ABC transporters; Caco-2; Drug-Drug interactions; Fluorescence assay; P-gp; drug discovery; screening

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